The Fokker Chronicles
World markets were mixed to higher today. The DAX gained nearly ½ of a percent half way through the day while most of the major indicies hovered just above unchanged. In Asia, Japan added 0.60% to the Nikkei while the Hang Seng remained closed for trading. US equities had regained its earlier loses and was geared up for an uptick on the open of trading.
The economic and earnings chapter is closed for this week but more earnings to sort through next week as we get reports from American Express(AXP:NYSE), Altera(ALTR:NASD), McDonalds(MCD:NYSE), Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE), Caterpillar(CAT:NYSE), Dupont(DD:NYSE), SBC Comm(SBC:NYSE), Amazon(AMZN:NASD), Time Warner(TWX:NYSE), Exxon Mobile(XOM:NYSE) and Halliburton(HAL:NYSE).
Lehman Brothers raised its price target for KLA-Tencor(KLAC:NASD) to $74 from $68 while keeping its overweight rating on the stock. CIBC downgraded Tellabs(TLAB:NASD) to underperform from sector perform. Thomas Weisel downgraded Amgen(AMGN:NASD) to peer perform from outperform and reduced its price target to $70 from $80. Deutsche Bank also reduced its price target on AMGN to $87 from $91. Lazard upgraded EMC Corp(EMC:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised its price target to $18 from $13. Raymond James upgraded Scientific Atlanta(SFA:NYSE) to strong buy from underperform. Raymond James also upped Knight Trading(NITE:NYSE) to outperform from market perform. Legg Mason upgrades Mercury Interactive(MERQ:NASD) to buy from hold. CIBC upgraded Pfizer(PFE:NYSE) to outperform from sector perform and raised its target to $41 from $35.
UBS stepped up to the plate on commodities projecting prices to increase 24% in 2004, and individually feels zinc will gain 35%, copper should gain 31%, nickel will return 27%, aluminum has a 18% upside in it, and gold will lag behind with a paltry 17% gain. UBS also upped a select list of commodity names to buy from neutral including Freeport-McMoran(FCX:NYSE), Cameco(CCJ:NYSE), Goldcop(GG:NYSE), and Meridian Gold(MDG:NYSE). CIBC upgraded Vitesse Semi(VTSS:NASD) to outperform from sector perform. Lehman downgraded AT&T(T:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight and cut its target to $22 from $24. Morgan Stanley upgraded Flextronics(FLEX:NASD) to overweight from equal-weight
Two fund managers that manage the Harvard University endowment were each paid more than $34 million last year according to the Associated Press. While both managers added more than $700 million to the endowment in 2003, the Harvard Treasurer said that in light of these bonuses, the compensation system would be re-examined and most likely a cap would be placed on individual managers. While Harvard's endowment last fiscal year was the nations' highest, exceeding $19 billion and representing the nations' largest, undergrad tuition for this current academic year was nearly $38,000.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Halliburton(HAL:NYSE) told the Pentagon that two of its employees had taken about $6 million in kickbacks in exchange for awarding a Kuwaiti-based company with work that supplied U.S. troops in Iraq.
Bloomberg newswires report the resignation of CBS MarketWatch's chief commentator, Thom Calandra, in light of the probes into his stock trading. Calandra was also a founder of its parent company MarketWatch.com (MKTW:NASD).
According to the New York Post, New York Attorney General Spitzer has turned the heat lamp onto the insurers. Conseco Inc(CNO:NYSE) and several other insurance companies have been given subpoenas over the ongoing investigation into mutual fund trading practices on Wall Street.
AMG data reports that Equity funds saw net cash inflows totaling $5.6 billion in the week ended January 21, with 71% going to Domestic Funds.
Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) posted better than expected street numbers. 4 cents better on EPS and guided its 3rd quarter above consensus estimates. The main area of concern was the deferred revenue, which declined more than expected (fell $395million quarter over quarter, more than Street was looking for) of $200-300million.
KLA Tencor(KLAC:NASD) reported much stronger bookings, a 50% increase over the prior quarter and its management has guided for another 15% increase for the next quarter.
Schlumberger(SLB:NYSE) reported $0.50 on revenues of $3.67 billion vs. first call of $0.43 and $3.52 billion.
Weyerhaeuser(WY:NYSE) missed by $0.05.
Duane Reade(DRD:NYSE) reduced its 4th quarter outlook.
Lattice Semi(LSCC:NASD) announced a delay in its release of their 4th quarter results.
MBNA Corp(KRB:NYSE) beat by a penny and upped its dividend.
Vitesse Semi(CTSS:NASD) beat by a penny.
Storage Tech(STK:NYSE) beat by $0.06.
Microsemi(MSCC:NASD) beat by $0.02.
Corning(GLW:NYSE) reported its results in-line with expectations but beat on revenues and guided its 1st quarter towards the upper end of the consensus.
Amgen(AMGN:NASD) reported in-line results with Street expectations.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
In an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News, Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean, conceded that the speech he gave on Monday that displayed a beet-red faced candidate barking out the names of the states where his campaign was destined for victory, was over the top and not presidential.
Reuters reported that Jenny Tonge, a British parliamentarian, created some uproar when she said yesterday that if she were Palestinian, she would consider becoming a suicide bomber. This follows just days after the most recent homicide attack from a Palestinian woman that murdered four Israelis at a Gaza Strip border crossing. Tonge added that she understood the attackers' motivation and how "desperation" is a powerful influence.
AP Newswires reported that a Roman Catholic priest was arrested for allegedly growing marijuana in his church living quarters. Rev. Richard Arko was jailed yesterday for illegal cultivation of marijuana and held on $3,000 bail.
Have a terrific weekend.
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